(From Pre Inca Cultures to the 1930´s)
It is believed that Perú was populated since 8,000 B.C. The registered culture succession since 2,500 B.C., passed through a primitive agriculture and cattle period trough a ceramic period in the X Century B.C. The well developed Chavín culture from Huantar (1000 BC), characterized by its great ceremonial buildings and the practice of an evolved culture is one of the first testimonies of higher development. At the IV Century AD sophisticated cultures as Chimu and Nazca settled in Perú Those cultures developed textiles, metallurgy and higher technology irrigation systems. In the VI century A.D. the Tiahuanaco cultures appear. In the XII century A.D. a Quechua language civilization was born which was managed by sovereigns called Incas, which migrated from the Titicaca Lake's banks. In short a period of time the Incas settled down their Empire capital in Cusco City. The Empire was managed by a government system under the Inca's royal tutelage, who was confered with divine powers and enjoyed a great respect. The religion was monotheist, governed by the Wiracocha god image; this was a laborious and intelligent people which dominated mathematics, astronomy, architecture and ceramics. The three great and outstanding rulers of the Empire were Pachacutec, who greatly extended the Empire because of his conquests; Túpac Yupanqui, and Huayna Capac, who conquested Quito.
While the Inca empire flourished, Spain was beginning to rise to prominence in the Western world. In 1524, Francisco Pizarro, an Extremadurin, proceeded to mount several expeditions, financed mainly from his own capital, from Panamá south along the west coast of South America. After several failures, Pizarro arrived in northern Peru late in 1531 with a small force of about 180 men and 30 horses. The conquistadors were excited by tales of the Incas' great wealth and bent on repeating the pattern of conquest that was becoming practically routine elsewhere in the New World. The Incas never seemed to appreciate the threat they faced. On November 15, 1532, Pizarro arrived in Cajamarca, the Inca's summer residence located in the Andean highlands of northern Perú, and insisted on an audience with Atahualpa. Historian Guamán Poma says the Spaniards demanded that the Inca renounce his gods and accept a treaty with Spain. He refused. The Spaniards began to fire their muskets and charged upon the Indians, killing them. Pizarro's overwhelming victory at Cajamarca in which he not only captured Atahualpa, but devastated the Inca's army, estimated at between 5,000 and 6,000 warriors, dealt a paralyzing and demoralizing blow to the empire, already weakened by civil war. The superior military technology of the Spaniards cavalry, cannon, and above all Toledo steel had proved unbeatable against a force, however large, armed only with battle axes, slings, and cotton padded armor. Atahualpa's capture not only deprived the empire of leadership at a crucial moment, but the hopes of his recently defeated opponents, the supporters of Huáscar, were revived by the prospect of an alliance with a powerful new Andean power contender, the Spaniards. Atahualpa now sought to gain his freedom by offering the Spaniards a treasure in gold and silver. Over the next few months, a fabulous cache of Incan treasure some eleven tons of gold objects alone was delivered to Cajamarca from all corners of the empire. Once enriched by the Incas' gold, Pizarro, seeing no further use for Atahualpa, reneged on his agreement and executed the Inca.
With Atahualpa dead, the Spaniards proceeded to march on Cusco. On the way, they dealt another decisive blow, aided by native allies from the pro Huáscar faction, to the still formidable remnants of Atahualpa's army. Then on November 15, 1533, exactly a year after arriving at Cajamarca, Pizarro, reinforced with an army of 5,000 native auxiliaries, captured the imperial city and placed Manco Inca, kin of Huáscar and his faction, on the Inca throne as a Spanish puppet. Manco Inca however fought against the Spaniards. Further consolidation of Spanish power in Perú was slowed during the next few years by both indigenous resistance and internal divisions among the victorious Spaniards. The native population, even those who had allied initially with the invaders against the Incas, had second thoughts about the arrival of the newcomers. Ultimately unable to defeat the Spaniards, Manco retreated to Vilcabamba in the remote Andean interior where he established an independent Inca kingdom, replete with a miniature royal court, that held out until 1572. To further complicate matters for the conquerors, a fierce dispute broke out among the followers of Pizarro and those of Diego de Almagro. Having fallen out over the original division of spoils at Cajamarca, Almagro and his followers challenged Pizarro's control of Cusco after returning from an abortive conquest expedition to Chile in 1537. Captured by Pizarro's forces at the Battle of Salinas in 1538, Almagro was executed, but his supporters, who continued to plot under his son, Diego, gained a measure of revenge by assassinating Pizarro in 1541. As the civil turmoil continued, the Spanish crown intervened to try to bring the dispute to an end, but in the process touched off a dangerous revolt among the colonists by decreeing the end of the encomienda system in 1542. The crown's efforts to enforce the New Laws of 1542 alienated the colonists, who rallied around the figure of Gonzalo Pizarro, the late Francisco's brother. Gonzalo managed to kill the intemperate Viceroy Don Blasco Núñez de Vela, who, on his arrival, had foolishly tried to enforce the New Laws. In 1544 Pizarro assumed de facto authority over Perú. His arbitrary and rule, however, caused opposition among the colonists, so that when another royal representative, Pedro de la Gasca, arrived in Peru to restore crown authority, he succeeded in organizing a pro royalist force that defeated and killed Pizarro in 1548. With Gonzalo's death, the crown finally succeeded, despite subsequent intermittent revolts, in ending the civil war and exerting crown control over Spanish Perú. At the same time, a new campaign was mounted against the last Inca holdout at Vilcabamba, which was finally captured in 1572. With it, the last reigning Inca, Túpac Amaru, was tried and beheaded by the Spaniards in a public ceremony in Cusco, thereby putting an end to the events of the conquest that had begun so dramatically four decades earlier at Cajamarca.
After a brief period of civil wars between the Conquistadores, the Viceroyalty of Perú was established. The expansion of a colonial administrative apparatus and bureaucracy paralleled the economic reorganization of the new lands. The viceroyalty was divided into audiences which were further subdivided into provinces or districts and finally municipalities, which included a city or town, governed by town councils composed of the most prominent citizens, mostly encomenderos in the early years and later hacendados. The most important royal official was the viceroy, who had a host of responsibilities ranging from general administration (particularly tax collection and construction of public works) and internal and external defense to support of the church and protection of the native population. He was surrounded by a number of other judicial, ecclesiastical, and treasury officials, who also reported to the Council of the Indies, the main governing body located in Spain.
An upsurge in native discontent and rebellion had actually begun to occur in the eighteenth century. The pace of these uprisings increased dramatically in the eighteenth century, with five in the 1740s, eleven in the 1750s, twenty in the 1760s, and twenty in the 1770s. Their underlying causes were largely economic. Land was becoming increasingly scarce in the communities because of illegal purchases by unscrupulous colonists at a time when the indigenous population was once again growing after the long, post conquest demographic decline. The culmination of this protest came in 1780 when José Gabriel Condorcanqui, a wealthy curaca descendant of Inca ancestors who sympathized with the oppressed native peasantry, seized and executed a notoriously abusive corregidor near Cusco. Condorcanqui raised an army of tens of thousands of natives and a few dissident creoles, assuming the name of Túpac Amaru II after the last Inca, to whom he was related. Captured by royalist forces in 1781, Condorcanqui was brought to trial and, like his namesake, cruelly executed, along with several relatives, in the main plaza in Cusco, as a warning to others. The rebellion continued, however, and even expanded into the Altiplano under the leadership of his brother, Diego Cristóbal Túpac Amaru. It was finally suppressed in 1782, and in the following years the authorities undertook to carry out some of the reforms that the two leaders had advocated.
Despite the Túpac Amaru revolts, independence was slow to develop in the Viceroyalty of Perú. For one thing, Perú was a conservative, royalist stronghold. The independent movement however had erupted in reaction to Napoleon Bonaparte's invasion of Spain in 1808, which deposed Ferdinand VII and placed a usurper, Jose Bonaparte, on the Spanish throne. In América this raised the question of the very political legitimacy of the colonial government. When juntas arose in favor of the captive Ferdinand in various South American capitals the following year, even though of relatively short duration, they touched off a process toward eventual separation that ebbed and flowed throughout the continent over the next fifteen years. This process developed its greatest momentum at the periphery of Spanish power in South America in what became Venezuela and Colombia in the north and Argentina in the south. Not until both movements converged in Peru during the latter phases of the revolt, specifically the 4,500_man expeditionary force led by General José de San Martín that landed in Pisco in September 1820, was Spanish control of Peru seriously threatened. San Martín's proclaimed Peru´s independence on July 28th, 1821 and then was named protector by an assembly of notables. After San Martín left Peru, Simón Bolívar continue the process of liberation in Peru, where he won the Battle of Junín in August 1824. The task of Peruvian independence was completed after the defeat of the royalist forces at Ayacucho on December 9, 1824. This battle in the remote southern highlands effectively ended the long era of Spanish colonial rule in South America.
Peru´s first years as an independent Republic were difficult, being the main problem the political instability of the country. The guano boom, made possible by the droppings from millions of birds on the Chincha Islands, proved to be a veritable bonanza for Perú, beginning in the 1840s. By the time that this natural resource had been depleted three decades later, Peru had exported some 12 million tons of the fertilizer to Europe and North America, where it stimulated the commercial agricultural revolution. On the basis of a truly enormous flow of revenue to the state (nearly US$500 million), Peru was presented in the middle decades of the nineteenth century with a historic opportunity for development. Guano led economic growth on average 9 percent a year beginning in the 1840s and burgeoning government coffers provided the basis for the consolidation of the state. With adequate revenues, President Ramón Castilla was able to retire the internal and external debt and place the government on a sound financial footing for the first time since independence. That, in turn, shored up the country's credit rating abroad. It also enabled Castilla to abolish vestiges of the colonial past slavery in 1854 and the onerous native tribute modernize the army, and centralize state power at the expense of local caudillos.
Between 1840 and 1875, the value of exports surged from 6 million pesos to almost 32 million, while imports went from 4 to 24 million pesos. On the face of it, the liberal export model, based on guano, pulled Perú out of its post independence economic stagnation and seemed dramatically successful. However, while great fortunes were accruing to the new coastal plutocracy, little thought was given to closing the historical inequalities of wealth and income or to fostering a national market for incipient home manufacturing that might have created the foundation for a more diversified and truly long term economic development. What proved a greater problem in the short term was the state's increasing reliance and ultimate dependence on foreign loans, secured by the guano deposits which, however, were a finite and increasingly depleted natural resource. These loans helped finance an overly ambitious railroad and road building scheme in the 1860s designed to open up Peru's natural, resource rich interior to exploitation. Perú also fought two brief but expensive wars. The first, in which Peru prevailed, was with Ecuador (1859_60) over territory bordering the Amazon. Other successful war was the Peruvian victory in 1866 over Spain's attempts to seize control of the guano rich Chincha Islands in a venture to recapture some of its lost empire in South America. By the 1870s, Peru's financial house of cards, constructed on guano, finally came tumbling down and the state finally collapsed. By the 1870s, economic growth and greater political stability had created the conditions for the organization of the country's first political party. It was composed primarily of the plutocrats of the guano era, the newly rich merchants, planters, and businesspeople, who believed that the country could no longer afford to be governed by the habitual military. Rather, the new age of international trade, business, and finance needed the managerial skills that only civilian leadership could provide. Their candidate was the dynamic and cosmopolitan Pardo, who, at age thirty seven, had already made a fortune in business and served with distinction as treasury minister and mayor of Lima. However, the election of the competent Pardo in 1872 and his ensuing austerity program were not enough to ward off the impending collapse. The worldwide depression of 1873 virtually sealed Peru's fate, and as Pardo's term drew to a close in 1876, the country was forced to default on its foreign debt. With social and political turmoil once again on the rise, the Civilistas found it expedient to turn to a military figure, Mariano Ignacio Prado (1865-67, 1876-79), who had rallied the country against the Spanish naval attack in 1865 and then served as president. He was reelected president in 1876 only to lead the country into a war with Chile in 1879.
The war developed over the disputed, nitrate rich Atacama Desert. Neither Perú, nor its ally, Bolivia, in the regional balance of power against Chile, had been able to solidify its territorial claims in the desert, which left the rising power of Chile to assert its designs over the region. Chile chose to attack Bolivia after Bolivia broke the Treaty of 1866 between the two countries by raising taxes on the export of nitrates from the region, mainly controlled by Chilean companies. In response, Bolivia invoked its secret alliance with Perú, the Treaty of 1873, to go to war. Perú was obligated, then, to enter a war for which it was woefully unprepared, particularly since the antimilitary Pardo government had sharply cut the defense budget. With the perspective of hindsight, the outcome was altogether predictable. Although the Peruvians fought the superior Chilean expeditionary forces doggedly thereafter, resorting to guerrilla action in the Sierra after the fall of Lima in 1881, they were finally forced to conclude a peace settlement in 1883. The Treaty of Ancón ceded to Chile in perpetuity the nitrate rich province of Tarapacá and provided that the provinces of Tacna and Arica would remain in Chilean possession for ten years, when a plebiscite would be held to decide their final fate. After repeated delays, both countries finally agreed in 1929, after outside mediation by the United States, to a compromise solution to the dispute by which Tacna would be returned to Peru and Chile would retain Arica.
After a period of intense civil strife similar to the political chaos during the immediate post war period, a Government led by General Andrés Avelino Cáceres (1886_90, 1894_95), succeeded in establishing a order in the country. Once economic recovery was achieved, a long period of stable, civilian rule begin in 1895, known as the Aristocratic Republic, led by the charismatic Nicolás de Piérola, an aristocratic and patriarchal figure. During the Aristocratic Republic period, which lasted for 20 years, Perú was characterized not only by relative political harmony and rapid economic growth and modernization, but also by social and political change. From the ruins of the War of the Pacific, new elites had emerged along the coast and coalesced to form a powerful oligarchy, based on the reemergence of sugar, cotton, and mining exports, as well as the reintegration of Perú into the international economy. Its political expression was the reconstituted Civilista Party, which had revived its antimilitary and pro export program during the period of intense national disillusion and introspection that followed the country's defeat in the war. By the time the term of Piérola's successor, Eduardo López de Romaña (1899_1903), came to an end, the Civilistas had cleverly managed to gain control of the national electoral process and proceeded to elect their own candidate and party leader, the astute Manuel Candamo (1903_1904), to the presidency. Thereafter, they virtually controlled the presidency up until World War I, although Candamo died a few months after assuming office. Elections, however, were restricted, subject to strict property and literacy qualifications, and more often than not manipulated by the incumbent Civilista regime. The Civilistas were the architects of unprecedented political stability and economic growth, but they also set in motion profound social changes that would, in time, alter the political panorama. The Civilistas, however, were unable to manage the new social forces that their policies unleashed. This first became apparent in 1912 when the millionaire businessman Guillermo Billinghurst (1912-14) –the reform minded, populist former mayor of Lima– was able to organize a general strike to block the election of the official Civilista presidential candidate and force his own election by Congress. During his presidency, Billinghurst became embroiled in an increasingly bitter series of conflicts with Congress, ranging from proposed advanced social legislation to settlement of the Tacna-Arica dispute. When Congress opened impeachment hearings in 1914, Billinghurst threatened to arm the workers and forcibly dissolve Congress. This provoked the armed forces under Colonel Oscar Benavides to seize power.
The immediate political beneficiary of this turmoil, however, was a dissident Civilista, former president Augusto B. Leguía (1908_12, 1919_30), who had left the party after his first term. He ran as an independent in the 1919 elections on a reform platform that appealed to the emerging new middle and working classes. Leguía replaced the Civilista oligarchy with a new, if plutocratic, middle class political base that prospered from state contracts and expansion of the government bureaucracy. Leguía's popularity was further eroded as a result of a border dispute between Peru and Colombia involving territory in the region between the Río Caquetá and the northern watershed of the Río Napo. Under the United Statesmediated Salomón Lozano Treaty of March 1922, which favored Colombia, the Río Putumayo was established as the boundary between Colombia and Perú. Pressured by the United States to accept the unpopular treaty, Leguía finally submitted the document to the Peruvian Congress in December 1927, and it was ratified. The treaty was also unpopular with Ecuador, which found itself surrounded on the east by Perú. The financial excesses, which included widespread corruption and the massive build up of the foreign debt, was brought to a sudden end by the Wall Street stock market crash of 1929 and ensuing worldwide depression. Leguía's eleven year rule, the longest in Peruvian history, collapsed a year later. Once again, the military intervened and overthrew Leguía, who died in prison in 1932. Meanwhile, the onset of the Great Depression galvanized the forces of the left, lead by Jose Carlos Mariátegui, leader of the Communist Party of Perú and Victor Raúl Haya de la Torre, founder of the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana_APRA), an anti_imperialist, continent wide, revolutionary alliance. Both parties –one from a Marxist and the other from a populist perspective– sought to organize and lead the new middle and working classes, now further dislocated and radicalized by the Great Depression.
Ancient Peruvian Cultures
Around 200 - 700 A.D. - Lambayeque - Nepeña
Around 700 - 1100 A.. - Lambayeque
Around 1000 A.D. - Lambayeque
Around 400 A.D. - Cuzco
Nazca - Paracas
Around 480 B.C. - Ica
Around 500 - 700 A.D. - Ayacucho
PERUVIAN HISTORY BEFORE WW II TO 1980
After 1930 both the military and the left, became important new actors in Peruvian politics. This period (1930-68) has been characterized in political terms as operating under essentially a "tripartite" political system, with the military often ruling at the behest of the oligarchy. Lieutenant Colonel Luis M. Sánchez Cerro and then General Benavides led another period of military rule during the turbulent 1930s.
In the presidential election of 1931, Sánchez Cerro (1931_ 33), capitalizing on his popularity from having deposed the dictator Leguía, defeated APRA's Haya de la Torre. Sánchez Cerro was assassinated in April 1933 and Congress elected former president Benavides to complete his five year term. Benavides managed to settle the thorny Letícia dispute peacefully, with assistance from the League of Nations, when a Protocol of Peace, Friendship, and Cooperation was signed in May 1934. After a disputed election in 1936, Benavides remained in power and extended his term until 1939. During the 1930s, Peru's economy was one of the least affected by the Great Depression. Thanks to a relatively diversified range of exports, led by cotton and new industrial metals (particularly lead and zinc), the country began a rapid recovery of export earnings as early as 1933. As a result, unlike many other Latin American countries that adopted import substitution industrialization measures to counteract the decline, Peru's policymakers made relatively few alterations in their long term model of exportoriented growth.
When Benavides's term expired in 1939, Manuel Prado y Ugarteche (1939-45), a Lima banker from a prominent family and son of a former president, won the presidency. He was soon confronted with a border conflict with Ecuador that led to a brief war in 1941. After its separation from the Gran Colombia, Ecuador had been left without access to either the Amazon or the region's other major waterway, the Río Marañón, and thus without direct access to the Atlantic Ocean. In an effort to assert its territorial claims in a region near the Río Marañón in the Amazon Basin, Ecuador attacked Peru and occupied militarily the town of Zarumilla along its southwestern border with Peru. However, the Peruvian Army responded with a lightning victory against the Ecuadorian Army. At subsequent peace negotiations in Rio de Janeiro in 1942, Peru's legitimate sovereignty of the region was affirmed.
The Allied victory in World War II reinforced the democratic tendency in Peru, as Prado's term came to an end in 1945. José Luis Bustamante y Rivero (1945-48), a liberal and prominent international jurist, was overwhelmingly elected president. Responding to his more reform and populist oriented political base, Bustamante moved Peru away from the strictly orthodox, free market policies that had characterized his predecessors. Increasing the state's intervention in the economy in an effort to stimulate growth and redistribution, the new government embarked on a general fiscal expansion, increased wages, and established controls on prices and exchange rates. Bustamante also became embroiled in an escalating political conflict with the Congress weakening the administration. In 1948, the military overthrew the government and installed General Manuel A. Odría (1948_50, 1950_56), who imposed a dictatorship on the country and returned to the policy of repression of the left and free market orthodoxy. At the same time he established a dependent, paternalistic relationship with labor and the urban poor through a series of charity and social welfare measures.
The postwar period of industrialization, urbanization, and general economic growth created a new middle and professional class that altered the prevailing political panorama. These new middle sectors formed the social base for two new political parties, Acción Popular and the Partido Demócrata Cristiano, that emerged in the 1950s and 1960s to challenge the oligarchy with a moderate, democratic reform program. Emphasizing modernization and development within a somewhat more activist state framework, they posed a new challenge to the old left.
Many new voters flocked to support the charismatic reformer Fernando Belaúnde Terry (1963-68, 1980-85), the founder of the AP. Belaúnde tried to diffuse the growing unrest in the highlands through a three –pronged approach: modest agrarian reform, colonization projects in the high jungle and the construction of the north– south Jungle Border Highway, running the entire length of the country along the jungle fringe. He also opted for a more technocratic orientation palatable to his urban middle class base by embarking on a large number of construction projects, including irrigation, transportation, and housing, while also investing heavily in education. Such initiatives were made possible, in part, by the economic boost provided by the dramatic expansion of the fishmeal industry. Belaúnde's educational expansion dramatically increased the number of universities and graduates. However, economic problems spelled trouble for Belaúnde as he approached the end of his term. With public discontent growing, the armed forces, led by General Velasco Alvarado, overthrew the Belaúnde government in 1968 and proceeded to undertake an unexpected and unprecedented series of reforms.
The military intervention and its reformist orientation represented changes both in the armed forces and Peruvian society. The Belaúnde government had originally held out the promise of reform and development, but had failed. The military attributed that failure to flaws in the democratic political system that had enabled the opposition to block and stalemate reform initiatives in Congress. Velasco moved immediately to implement a radical reform program, including a comprehensive agrarian reform, the most extensive in Latin. The Velasco regime also moved to dismantle the liberal, export model of development. Its immediate target was the foreign dominated sector, which during the 1960s had attained a commanding position in the economy. Velasco reversed this situation. By 1975 state enterprises accounted for more than half of mining output, two thirds of the banking system, a fifth of industrial production, and half of total productive investment. Velasco's overall development strategy was to shift from a laissez faire to a mixed economy, to replace export led development with import substitution industrialization. At the same time, the state implemented a series of social measures designed to protect workers and redistribute income in order to expand the domestic market.
On August 1975 Velasco was replaced by General Francisco Morales Bermúdez Cerrutti (1975_80) because he had become increasingly personalistic and autocratic, undermining the institutional character of military rule. General Morales Bermúdez, spent most of his term implementing an economic austerity program to stem the surge of inflation. Public opinion increasingly turned against the rule of the armed forces, which it blamed for the country's economic troubles, widespread corruption, and mismanagement of the government, as well as the general excesses of the revolution. Consequently, Morales Bermúdez prepared to return the country to the democratic process. Elections were held in 1978 for a Constituent Assembly empowered to rewrite the constitution. Although Belaúnde's AP boycotted the election, an array of newly constituted leftist parties won an unprecedented 36 percent of the vote, with much of the remainder going to APRA. Meanwhile, the popularity of former president Belaúnde underwent a revival. Belaúnde was decisively reelected president in 1980, with 45 percent of the vote, for a term of five years.
FROM 1980 TO THE PRESENT
During President Belaunde´s second Government severe economic problems left over from the military government persisted, which were worsened by an occurrence of the "El Nino" weather phenomenon in 1982_83, that caused widespread flooding in some parts of the country, severe droughts in others, and decimated the schools of ocean fish that are one of the country's major resources. After a promising beginning, Belaunde's popularity eroded under the stress of inflation, economic hardship, and terrorism. During the 1980s, cultivation of illicit coca was established in large areas on the eastern Andean slope. Rural terrorism by Sendero Luminoso (SL) and the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) (Lori Berenson Case) increased during this time and derived significant financial support from their alliances with the narcotraffickers.
In 1985, the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA) won the presidential election, bringing Alan García Pérez to office. The transfer of the presidency from Belaúnde to García on July 28, 1985, was Peru's first exchange of power from one democratically elected leader to another in 40 years. However, extreme economic mismanagement by President´s García Administration led to hyperinflation from 1988 to 1990 and an unprecedented financial crisis.
Concerned about the economy, the increasing terrorist threat from Sendero Luminoso, and allegations of official corruption, voters chose a university Dean turned politician, Mr. Alberto Fujimori, as president in 1990. The new president faced the extraordinary task to rebuild the country, to rescue it from chaos and to confront the main problems that almost brought the nation to the brink of collapse: Terrorism, poverty, drug trafficking and economic crisis. In April 1992, 2 years after his election, President Fujimori has dissolved Congress breaking the Constitutional order and the rule of law. Under the pressure of the International Community, the President subsequently convened elections for a constituent congress on November 1992, and won public approval of the new constitution in an October 1993 referendum. The government of President Fujimori reduced the terrorist threat of Shining Path and the MRTA, almost defeating both nihilistic groups. He also reinserted Perú in the international financial community and solved the economic crisis by reducing hiper_inflation, promoting foreign investment, privatizing state_owned companies and increasing the productivity of the PBI. In 1995 President Fujimori was reelected, which allowed him to continue his task.
On july 28, 2000, Alberto Fujimori began a questionable third term as President in the midst of serious concerns regarding the transparency of the electoral process that kept him in power. In April, the OAS General Assembly, meeting in Windsor, had previously approved a mechanism for strengthening democracy with the establishment of a special mission to be presided over by Eduardo La Torre, former Foreign Minister of the Dominican Republic. That mission encouraged a dialogue process involving round table conversations between various political sectors and civic leaders. Important advances were made toward the reconstruction of democratic institutions. In September, however as a consequence of the serious political crisis, aggravated by the discovery of a network of corruption in the Government, President Fujimori announced the early convocation of general elections for April 2001 and that he would not participate in them. Weeks later, during a trip to Asia, he renounced the Presidency from Tokyo. Congress did not accept his resignation, however, instead, they declared the post of Chief of State vacant due to abandonment and moral incapacity. The First and Second Vice President of the Republic resigned from their posts as well.
In that context, and in compliance with the provisions of the Constitutions, Valentín Paniagua, the President of Congress, assumed the Presidency of the Republic on November 22, 2000. He will hold that post until July 28, 2001, on which date the candidate to be chosen in the elections programmed for April 8, 2001, will be inaugurated. A new Congress will be elected during the same process. The Cabinet of Ministers, headed by Ambassador Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, who also holds the post of Foreign Minister, was sworn in on November 26, 2000. In his first Message to the Nations, President Paniagua emphasized that the central objective of the Transition Government is to guarantee a transparent, impartial and fair election, make a decisive contribution to reestablishing the nation's democratic institutions, take a firm stand against corruption and to maintain the economic stability of the country. The transition Government has achieved notable advances on those priority issues during its eight months in office.
In the historical and impeccable elections of April 8 and June 3, 2001 (First and Second rounds of the presidential elections) the candidate of "Perú Posible", Alejandro Toledo, won the Presidency. He was sworn as President of the Republic on July 28th, 2001.
US LIBRARY OF CONGRESS: PERU, A COUNTRY STUDY, edited by Mr. Rex. A. Hudson.
Federal Research Division of the United States Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program.
(Embassy of Peru's web page).